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VMware @ Microsoft Ignite Spring 2021: An Update on Partner Initiatives and How to Connect

Gregory Lehrer

This time last year, our customers were staring down a Herculean task. Almost overnight, IT teams were asked to retool systems and processes to support a fully distributed workforce. They rose to the challenge in heroic fashion. Today, they continue to innovate to support their organizations in an ever-evolving environment.

Many of these organizations have put their trust in VMware and Microsoft. By bringing the best of both companies together, we’re helping customers deliver exceptional digital experiences by enabling any app on any cloud. We make these apps more securely accessible from any device. And for putting their trust in us, we humbly thank them.

Just as our customers’ digital transformation forged ahead in the tumult of 2020, our partnership with Microsoft continues to steadily progress. As our customers (virtually) gather for Microsoft Ignite Spring 2021, we’re excited to share updates on how our companies continue to collaborate in areas most critical to our customers.

A Flourishing Partnership

Today, Microsoft and VMware support thousands of mutual customers spanning all segments, geographies and industries.

With a shared passion for dreaming up and executing big ideas, we integrate and cross-sell technology solutions to drive customers’ digital transformation forward. Our partnership enables customers to migrate mission-critical apps to the cloud, quickly scale infrastructure and enable instant access to data on any device. We do this without compromising user experience, productivity, management, cost or security.

Our partnership with Microsoft is all-inclusive and spans all our strategic priorities:

  • App modernization
  • Multi-cloud
  • Virtual Cloud Network
  • Digital workspace
  • Intrinsic security

App Modernization

Over the past year, VMware and Microsoft unveiled several initiatives to help developers build and deploy powerful apps more quickly and with less headaches.

For instance, just a few months ago at SpringOne, we announced the general availability of Azure Spring Cloud, a fully managed Azure service for Spring Boot apps. Microsoft and VMware partnered closely on Azure Spring Cloud to enable customers to run their most critical Spring apps in production at scale with confidence.

At Ignite, VMware announced certification of VMware Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with Azure Arc. Faced with the demands of enabling remote workforces and delivering new digital experiences to customers, modern applications that can run on any cloud are now a business imperative. VMware believes Kubernetes will become the dial-tone for modern applications. This can only be achieved through a thriving ecosystem that promotes interoperability. By certifying Tanzu Kubernetes Grid with Azure Arc, we’re teaming with Microsoft to help enterprises achieve the full potential of Kubernetes through a consistent experience.


In the wake of COVID-19, organizations are increasingly adopting a multi-cloud strategy to help ensure continuity, resiliency, and cost efficiency for their business. As such, Azure VMware Solution continues to be an area of great excitement and momentum for both companies.

At last year’s Ignite, Microsoft introduced the new Azure VMware Solution, which is now live in eight global regions. The platform continues to deliver for our customers as they more aggressively shift workloads to the cloud.

For example, Azure VMware Solution was instrumental in supporting global retailer Lucky Brands’ digital transformation. Leveraging the company’s past investments in Azure and VMware helped the retailer accelerate its cloud migration to minimize IT costs and ultimately improve the in-store and online shopping experience.

Lucky Brand store front

Lucky Brand Finds the Perfect Fit for Better Customer Insights with Azure VMware Solutions

Microsoft Azure VMware Solutions were instrumental in supporting Lucky Brand’s digital transformation. Leveraging the company’s past investments helped the retailer minimize costs and accelerate migration.

Perhaps unsurprisingly after a year like 2020, the disaster recovery capabilities of Azure VMware Solution are gaining notoriety among customers. Amoun Pharmaceutical Company, for example, migrated its disaster recovery platform to Azure VMware Solution as part of long-term strategy to move much of its operations to the cloud.

Amoun Boosts Security and Reduces Costs by Migrating Disaster Recovery Center

For pharmaceutical companies, the pressure to deliver new treatments and expand into new markets, while complying with government regulations, requires a nonstop effort. Integral to success is adopting the right technologies to streamline product research, manufacturing and the overall administration of everyday activities. Amoun Pharmaceutical, headquartered in Egypt, is no exception. 

Virtual Cloud Network

While the progress we’ve made on the cloud infrastructure side is substantial, perhaps the most exciting work we’ve taken on this year is in networking.

As employees transition to a distributed model, optimizing app performance and better securing services at the edge is paramount. We’re collaborating with Microsoft in several ways to help our mutual customers deliver a reliable, consistent experience at the edge.

First, we were an initial launch partner for Azure Virtual WAN. Next, we achieved our status as a Microsoft 365 networking partner. This validates that VMware SD-WAN aligns with Microsoft 365 network connectivity principles. Finally, last year, VMware began working with Microsoft on solutions for Azure Edge Zones and Azure Private Edge Zones. VMware is the only Azure Edge Zones “public preview” SD-WAN partner with complete automation and Azure portal integration and available to customers for trials.

Today, we announced the integration of VMware SD-WAN in Azure Virtual WAN Hub. The result is an offering that natively integrates the customizable routing intelligence of Azure Virtual WAN with the optimized last-mile connectivity of VMware SD-WAN. This integration provides the following benefits to enterprises of all sizes. This integration will automate and simplify deployment, improve application performance and improve security.

Read this blog and learn about all the ways that VMware has customers’ Azure Networking needs covered.

Digital Workspace

The abrupt and massive shift to remote work drove demand for desktop virtualization. As the workplace continues to evolve, it will continue to play an important role in supporting a distributed workforce both today and in the future.

Many organizations are taking advantage of cloud-based desktop virtualization platforms like VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Windows Virtual Desktop to ease management of these workloads and deliver a consistent user experience.

For example, Ficohsa Group experienced a 15% drop in productivity when COVID hit as they were forced to send employees home without proper tools to work. Ficohsa’s IT team turned to Horizon Cloud on Azure to rapidly address its contact center's need to maintain operations and reduce the potential impact to the business. Currently, more than 800 employees at Ficohsa across Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama branches use Horizon Cloud on Azure to work effectively from home.

Woman sitting at computer.

VMware Virtual Desktop and Application Services Accelerate Financial Group’s Productivity and Effectiveness in its New Work From Home Culture

“We needed to implement a solution that, as soon as possible, would generate income that would help us to be able to keep our employees,” said Carlos Molinero, Ficohsa’s IT manager. “We had a large volume of requests from customers, and we had to give them a favorable response time.”

Last year, we announced the general availability of Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure Support for Windows Virtual Desktop. Developed as a service on Azure, Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure has been helping customers deploy virtual desktop environments for nearly three years. When Windows Virtual Desktop was announced, VMware and Microsoft worked together to extend the functionality of Windows Virtual Desktop to Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

This collaboration makes VMware an approved Windows Virtual Desktop provider, enabling customers to have access to a modern, cloud-native platform that delivers enterprise-class features. Because Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure is part of the VMware Horizon Service, administrators can now manage all their Horizon environments from the same pane of glass as their Horizon service.

More recently, we announced that Horizon now runs on Azure VMware Solution. Customers can now extend the power of Horizon and vSphere to Azure. As a result, they can easily move on-premises Horizon deployments to Azure as part of a cloud migration or transform their Horizon environment into an elastic hybrid and multi-cloud desktop virtualization platform that can help them conquer the challenges of today’s fluctuating workplace.

Intrinsic Security

We also drove integration between VMware Carbon Black and Azure Sentinel. Specifically, the VMware Carbon Black Cloud Endpoint Standard connector was developed to enable customers to easily connect all Carbon Black Endpoint Standard security solution logs with Azure Sentinel, view dashboards, create custom alerts and improve investigation.

Join Us at Microsoft Ignite Spring 2021

The future is bright for VMware and Microsoft and we look forward to connecting with customers at Ignite. While we won’t be together in person, you can join any of these exciting sessions our team is facilitating.

Breakout Session: Learn How to Connect VDI Users to VMware Horizon with Azure VMware Solution and VMware SD-WAN (On-Demand)


  • Gabe Knuth (@gabeknuth), senior product line manager, VMware Horizon
  • Jay Thontakudi, senior product marketing manager, VMware SD-WAN
  • Trevor Davis (@vTrevorDavis), Global Black Belt, Azure VMware Solution at Microsoft

Click here to watch on-demand.

Ask the Experts: Connecting VDI Users to VMware Horizon with Azure VMware Solution and VMware SD-WAN (Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 2:00 – 2:30 p.m. EST)


  • Jeremiah Megie (@vMegie), senior technical marketing architect, Azure VMware Solution
  • Hilko Lantinga (@HilkoLantinga), staff end-user computing architect, VMware Horizon
  • Tejbir Batth, senior staff solution architect, VMware SD-WAN
  • Paul Ford (@birdsofbmore), director, business development, cloud and infrastructure partners

Click here to watch live or on-demand.

Tech Chat: Running VMware Natively on Azure with Azure VMware Solution (Wednesday, March 3, 2021, 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. EST)


  • Jeremiah Megie (@vMegie), senior technical marketing architect
  • Jeffrey Moore, senior staff cloud solutions architect, Azure VMware Solution
  • Anthony Wilson, senior director, Azure VMware Solution

Click here to watch live or on-demand.

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